Mohammed bin Mohammed tucked a handful of local currency into the front of the boy’s pants note by note and then sent him on his way back to the madrassa. The eleven-year-old had been exquisite. Maybe not as exquisite as the European or Arab boys he was accustomed to, but one made do with what one had at hand.
Once Mohammed had finished bathing, he brewed himself another glass of tea and stepped out onto the terrace. It was darker than normal for this time of evening—the clouds of an approaching storm having hidden the stars overhead. A bit fatigued from his illness and his recent trip to Morocco, Mohammed leaned against one of the stone balustrades and listened to the roar of the Indian Ocean crashing against the beach below.
After a few more minutes of salt air against his skin, Mohammed returned inside. There was no telling how much havoc the storm might wreak on satellite communications, and he had a few last elements to put in place. The transaction was nearly complete.
Because of his particular predilections, Mohammed preferred to live at the beachside villa alone, but that didn’t mean he was lax when it came to security. Not only did he have his own men posted on the roads in both directions, but he also enjoyed the protection of several local warlords. In addition, the beach had been mined with antipersonnel devices and the entire house had been constructed with reinforced concrete and steel to protect against any of the remote-controlled Predator Drone attacks the cowardly Americans were so fond of.
With no central government and no outside forces meddling in local affairs, men like Mohammed bin Mohammed were free to do as they wished in Somalia. In just three years, al-Qaeda had opened dozens of covert training camps throughout the country and had significantly added to the organization’s numbers, shipping them off to Iraq to gain valuable, real-world combat experience. What’s more, after their humiliating defeat at the hands of local militias, the United States wanted nothing to do with this part of the world. It was the perfect base of operations. Everything in Mohammed’s world seemed to be improving, even his health.
In one of the villa’s small bedrooms, Mohammed carefully unlocked a specially fabricated titanium briefcase and booted up his encrypted Macintosh PowerBook.
As he worked, his mind drifted to the little boy who had left only twenty minutes ago, and he started becoming aroused again.With the arousal, though, came something else—a dull throbbing in his back, just below the rib cage, complemented by an overwhelming urge to urinate. Too much tea and too much sex, Mohammed thought to himself as he rose to go to the toilet.When he approached the bedroom door, his heart caught in his throat.
“Hands on top of your head,” said one of several black-clad figures armed with very nasty-looking assault rifles.
Mohammed was stunned. How could the house have been breached?
The man in black told him once more to put his hands on top of his head, this time in Arabic.
Ignoring the order, Mohammed lunged back into the bedroom toward the PowerBook. As he did, a pair of barbed probes from a TASER X26 ripped through his cotton robe and embedded themselves in the flesh of his back.When the electricity raced through his body, his muscles locked up and he fell like a dead tree trunk, face-first onto the stone floor.
His hands and feet were Flexicuffed, and the last thing he saw before being dragged from the room was two of the men going for his laptop.
Had they been paying attention, they might have seen Mohammed smile.
Seconds later an explosion rocked the small bedroom and the hallway was showered with titanium shrapnel, chunks of plaster, and pieces of charred human flesh.
Continue reading the Takedown excerpt.